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Former Iceland PM Guilty of Negligence in 2008 Banking Crisis

Former Prime Minister of Iceland Geir Haarde, seen in court in Reykjavik Monday April 23, 2012.
Former Prime Minister of Iceland Geir Haarde, seen in court in Reykjavik Monday April 23, 2012.

A court in Iceland has found former prime minister Geir Haarde guilty of negligence in his handling of the bank collapse in 2008, while acquitting him of more serious charges.

Haarde is the first world leader to go on trial for his government's handling of the global financial crisis.

The court in Reykjavik convicted him of failing to properly brief other government ministers of Iceland's looming banking crisis.

But it ruled that he is innocent of other charges, including allegedly doing nothing to shrink the size of the banking system.

Haarde will face no prison time and will not have to pay any fines or court costs. But he is still angry that he was put on trial for a financial crisis that he said he could not have stopped.

He said it is obvious that the judges found themselves in need of convicting him on at least one charge, to save the necks of lawmakers who demanded a trial.

Haarde said he is seriously considering bringing a complaint before the European Court of Human Rights.

Three major Icelandic banks collapsed in late 2008, plunging the country into a deep economic recession.

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